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One out of three roadkilled animals goes undetected by science

• Animals may escape and die away from the road after the collision, rebound off the road or retain by vehicle. In these cases, it is so extremely difficult to be recorded through typical roadkill...

Identifican nuevos linajes de parásitos sanguíneos exclusivos de aves que habitan en entornos urbanos

Los resultados del estudio han revelado que algunos parásitos del género Plasmodium, responsables de la malaria aviar, son más diversos en la ciudad que en el campo, presentando algunos linajes que...

Invasive blue crabs can travel more than 100 km upstream

Scientists from the Doñana Biological Station – CSIC warns of the capacity of the blue crab to invade river stretches located far from river mouths. This migrating capacity of blue crabs...

Easter rains bring relief to Doñana, but more rainfall is needed this spring

145.3 l/m2 have been collected during March, mostly during Easter, according to ICTS-Doñana data. Rains come late for wintering, but will still be useful for waterfowl breeding. The annual...

The discovery of fossils of phantom midges suggests an extreme climatic event in New Zealand

Phantom midges are present today on all major landmasses, except Antarctica and New Zealand, where it was believed that they had never inhabited until now
The causes of the extinction of these...

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Consequences of the defaunation of the Canarian frugivorous lizards

Consequences of the defaunation of the Canarian frugivorous lizards

Defaunation of large-bodied frugivores could be causing severe losses of crucial ecosystem functions such as seed dispersal. The immediate ecological consequences may include alteration or even collapse of seed-mediated gene flow affecting plant population connectivity, with impacts on the regional scale distribution of genetic variation. Yet these far-reaching consequences of defaunation remain understudied. This study tested whether human-induced defaunation of the Canarian frugivorous lizards altered within-island population connectivity and the amount and large-scale distribution of genetic variation of Neochamaelea pulverulenta, which relies exclusively on these lizards for seed dispersal. Individual plant genotypes from 80 populations were extensively sampled spanning the full geographic range of the plant to examine their genetic diversity, population-genetic network topologies, and the patterns of isolation both by distance (IBD) and resistance (IBR) across three ecological scenarios. Plant genetic diversity appeared unaffected by defaunation-mediated downsizing of frugivorous lizards. However, it was found reduced overall plant population connectivity together with an increased isolation by distance within the most defaunated islands when compared with the scenario preserving the functionality of lizard-mediated seed dispersal. The results, with a significant effect of lizard downsizing, were robust when controlling for biotic/abiotic differences among the three islands by means of isolation by resistance models. These results provide valuable insights into the far-reaching consequences of the deterioration of mutualisms on plant population dynamics over very large spatial scales. Conservation of large-bodied frugivores is thus essential because their irreplaceable mutualistic dispersal services maintain an extensive movement of seeds across the landscape, crucial for maintaining the genetic cohesiveness of metapopulations and the adaptive potential of plant species across their entire geographic range. informacion[at] Pérez-Méndez et al (2017) Persisting in defaunated landscapes: reduced plant population connectivity after seed dispersal collapse. J Ecol doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12848